Sunday, January 17, 2010

A good week for eating

Glou: 101 Rue Vieille du Temple, 3eme
Went with: Michael on a Saturday night, sans reservations
Had: Mache salad with three plump scallops and pasta in a creamy truffle sauce. Michael had chacuterie and couchon—pork on pork.
Impressions: Glou is good, not great. This is one of those restaurants that’s been on my must-try list for awhile. I heard great things when it opened last year, the location in the Marais is ideal, the menu and interior are up my alley, and I was excited that we were seated at 8:30 on a Saturday night without reservations. But the food blew neither of us away. And I had a touch of food poisoning that night. Boooo.

Olio Pane Vino: 44 Rue Coquillière, 1eme
Went with: Jo on a Thursday night
Had: We split an assiette des legumes and each had one of the three pasta specials, which was ravioli with braised cabbage.
Impressions: This is the kind of place you could envision anywhere—San Francisco, Brooklyn or some beantown in Connecticut—and is always great. It’s just so simple: the décor was sort of rustic, with shelves of provisions (olive oil, cookbooks, etc.), black and white photos of the Italian country side on the stone walls and wooden communal tables. The menu is also simple: mostly salads, chacuterie plates and a rotating selection of fresh pastas. It hit the spot for a really good, unfussy, affordable and simple neighborhood spot. I’ll definitely be back.

Chez Jeanette: 47 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 10eme

Went with: Sarah on a Wednesday night
Had: Just a basic café salad but, with grilled artichokes, asparagus and avocado, it was different than most and delicious.
Impressions: I had been for drinks before and had never envisioned eating there. Why would I? This place is hipster heaven. It’s always jammed with young and fabulous (in a dirty Lower East Side way) Parisians. But our meal was surprisingly decent. The staff flits about, partying with the customers, but they’re super nice.

Derriere: 69 Rue des Gravilliers, 3eme

Went with: Mel and her crew: Keran, Thomas et Brune
Had: Spinach and pear salad with mustard vinaigrette, Beetroot salad and cabillaud cooked in a delicious sauce with cauliflower.
Impressions: I’m done with Derriere. It’s a pity too because the design does warrant all the hype and the food is actually really good and it’s probably Paris’ coolest restaurant. But with the cool cred comes bullshit.

The first time I went, I had a decent experience. But that was before the buzz had lathered up to such heights. And I had an early reservation—8:30. It was a nice dinner: great food and cocktails, decent service and that trop cool atmosphere.

Then I tried making reservations a couple different times after that. The condescending attitude was too much (responding immediately in patronizing English, insisting reservations before 11 were impossible) so I figured I’d take my business elsewhere. But over the holidays, I talked to Mel’s friends about how great the restaurant is, we agreed we’d go in the New Year, and so, there we were, with 10:30 reservations on Friday night.

And there we still were, waiting for a table at 11. And there we were, sitting sans water, bread or wine at 11:20, our waitress totally m.i.a. It didn’t get better from there. A party of three came, ate their platters of chicken (which smelled soooo good), and went before we even got our dinners.

Thank goodness it’s all about who you’re with. The night was long but fun, with us finally wrapping up the second bottle of wine and heading home just before 2. Merde.

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